By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knights (8-0) softball team is on a 53-game winning streak, the longest winning streak in program history. This week, the Knights rattled off three more wins in three consecutive days to clinch a post season berth and keep the winning streak alive.
Southington’s previous winning streak record (52) was set in 1987 and was a state record at the time until Seymour set the current state record (78) in 2005-2007.
Wednesday, April 29 brought a stellar performance from not only the Knights, but from their pitcher, Kendra Friedt. The Knights won the contest against the Simsbury Trojans (4-6), 11-0.
“We played well today,” said Southington coach Davina Hernandez. “I told them that I was happy. We talked at practice this week how we didn’t play the best against Maloney. We came through with the win, but it was kind of sloppy all the way around. I was really pleased because we had seven people out of position today. I’ve been saying all season that I do believe we have depth and players that can play more than one position with a very small roster.”
Friedt threw 18 strikeouts in seven innings, allowing just one hit. Maighread Scafariello went 2-for-3 with two RBI, including a home run. Kaitlyn Paterson went 3-for-4 with an RBI and scored run, and Lauren Zazzaro went 2-for-4 with two hits and two RBI, including two triples.
Alexa Guglielmino had the only hit for the Trojans.
“I told them that Simsbury always gives us a great game. Today we broke it open a little bit, but we’ve had some very close games with them and you never underestimate them,” Hernandez said. “They’re always scrappy and always fight because they broke the perfect game in the last inning, and that’s what type of team they are.”
The next day was a repeat for the Knights at home, as they shut out the Bristol Eastern Lancers (7-5) by the same score of 11-0.
“That first inning set the tone for the game,” said the coach. “We didn’t get a ton of great pieces off of their pitcher, but we took advantage of the mistakes when they were presented.”
Friedt threw 16 strikeouts in seven innings, allowing one hit and one walk. Paterson went 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored, including a double.
“Having a lot of confidence in myself has really helped me,” said Paterson. “For a leadoff batter, my goal is to get on base and we know Isabella Russo will get the job done moving the runners over. We have Lauren coming up third, who hopefully hits me in. I think this season we’ve battled some difficulties, but we’re trying to find the holes to do each other’s jobs. We’ve been capitalizing on each at bat and if you don’t get on base, you try and get the next one.”
Haley Messenger went 2-for-4 with four RBI and one scored run.
Makenzie Jankowski had the only hit for the Lancers.
The Knights finished off the week with an 8-3 win over the Newington Indians (7-2) on Friday in their third consecutive home game. Friedt threw 14 strikeouts in seven innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs, and two walks.
“It was a great game,” said Hernandez. “I told them that Newington looked like a sleeper team this year. I think they don’t get a lot of credit for how good of a team they are. I got a chance to see their pitcher, Olivia Burgos, pitch during the offseason and she’s really good. I told Kendra right before the game not to give her anything good because she’s a great hitter and she’ll make it hurt and she did. She put one out against us. Overall, she’s just a really good player.”
Hayley Arduini went 1-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored, including a home run. Russo went 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored, including a double. Natalie Wadolowski went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored, including a triple, and Paterson went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a triple. Zazzaro had a triple.
Burgos led the Indians by going 1-2 with two RBI and a scored run. Burgos also threw four strikeouts.
Friday’s win brought the Knights to a record-breaking streak of 53-0 in the program’s history at the school, continued from multiple seasons.
The Knights hope to keep their streak and undefeated season going this week with a home game against the Conard Chieftains (5-4).